JANUARY 31, 1938
WASHINGTON, Sunday—I reached Washington yesterday just in time to welcome my very large family, which had arrived for the President's birthday. All four boys are here, three daughters-in-law and one fiancee, and we all miss Anna and John and feel they should be here too!
Elliott and Ruth have brought their two children. I must say that modern children either are much better behaved, or young mothers today know much more about bringing them up than we did!
After greeting my children, we went down in a body to welcome all the movie talent which had come to help out in the President's Birthday Balls down here. We had a very jolly, pleasant luncheon in the State Dining Room. As usual, my family seemed to make much more noise than any of the guests.
After our guests had met the President, our children took them on a tour of the offices and the White House. When they finally returned to my room, we discovered that some of the history which had been related was not exactly accurate, but, nevertheless, they had enjoyed the trip. Then we had pictures taken and the party started off to prepare for the evening's work.
The "Old Guard," which dates back to the 1920 campaign, and the "New Guard," which comprises more recent additions, all dined with us last night. I think the birthday dinner was as jolly a dinner as we have ever had. An added feature this year was a double celebration, for Ethel, Franklin Jr.'s wife, was also born on January 30th.
A little after 10:00 o'clock, I started off with three gentlemen escorts to visit each of the hotels where a ball was going on. At each place I greeted one of my luncheon guests, who was there to greet the crowd as I was. This year the crowds seemed to me larger and happier, as though they all rejoiced in being able to take part in this fight against infantile paralysis. By 12:45, we were back at the White House and I confess that it was with difficulty that I did a short half-hour's work at my desk.
Miss Dickerman and I had a grand ride this morning. Sad to relate, my horse, "Dot," is lame, and I don't enjoy any other horse's gait quite as much. Everybody at Fort Myer was interested in the horse's condition, for I am supposed to ride "Dot" in the horse show Tuesday night. As we rode along the bridle path, several people asked Captain Reybold, rather apprehensively I thought: "How is Dot today?" I felt that she was more important than I had ever realized.
Only two guests for luncheon. I was especially interested in talking to Mr. Rene d'Harnoncourt. He is preparing the Indian part of the exhibition to be shown at the San Francisco World's Fair in 1939. The whole idea sounds to me most original and interesting.